Do you consider #Autism a disability?

First of all this is probably the type of loaded question that I would hate to answer myself.  Having said that, I think it’s an interesting and relavent question because I would suspect that answers will very based on personal experience.

Do you consider Autism a disability?

For me personally, I would say yes and no.  The reason it seems like I’m taking the safe way out is because I really think that due in large part to everyone’s uniqueness and various placements on the Autism Spectrum, it’s impossible to answer this with a yes or no.

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Again, everyone’s experience with Autism is likely to be very different.

Because some people are falling on the lower functioning end of the Autism Spectrum, I would suspect that they would be more profoundly impacted. 

Likewise, others fall on or towards the higher end and may be not so profoundly impacted. 

Everything is relative and everyone’s interpretation of their experience is different.  I hate using the terms high or low functioning because it’s not always an accurate way to describe a person’s situation, as it relates to Autism. 

Having said that, those same terms help to differentiate between people on the spectrum.

Okay, now I throw the question to you…….

Do you consider Autism to be a disability?

Please keep in mind that there are non right or wrong answers, only your experience and opinion.

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Anastasia Beaverhausen

I’d say it depends on the child. If you have a 14 yr old who obsesses over Egyptology, can read hieroglyphics, and give you the name of every Pharoah from the 18th Dynasty to the Ptolomeic, and feels a need to eat only orange food, YET can care for their own physical needs (practicing good hygiene, dressing themselves, toileting, etc.), has socially appropriate relationships, can complete tasks, etc. – In other words is extremely high functioning with a few quirks? Maybe not.
If the same child’s brother is 15, non-verbal, still fecal smearing, violent, screams incessantly, demands a single food immediately any time day or night, and beats the crap out of his care giver, cannot dress himself, nor understand simple instructions, elopes constantly, and is a threat to those in the home? Obviously yes.
Again, if you’ve met one child with Autism? You’ve met ONE child with Autism.

Anastasia Beaverhausen

I’d say it depends on the child. If you have a 14 yr old who obsesses over Egyptology, can read hieroglyphics, and give you the name of every Pharoah from the 18th Dynasty to the Ptolomeic, and feels a need to eat only orange food, YET can care for their own physical needs (practicing good hygiene, dressing themselves, toileting, etc.), has socially appropriate relationships, can complete tasks, etc. – In other words is extremely high functioning with a few quirks? Maybe not.
If the same child’s brother is 15, non-verbal, still fecal smearing, violent, screams incessantly, demands a single food immediately any time day or night, and beats the crap out of his care giver, cannot dress himself, nor understand simple instructions, elopes constantly, and is a threat to those in the home? Obviously yes.
Again, if you’ve met one child with Autism? You’ve met ONE child with Autism.

eeyorekitty88

Yes.  Yes it is.

AMDuser

– to note for any new readers that I am on the Autism spectrum
I think it depends on were the autism has impacted the person’s life. if it is severe enough then ya it can be a disability or a blessing. The is some of the aspects with the autism spectrum like the sensory issues that can be adapted like for example sound sensitivity, headphones can be used to filter some of the sounds. 
Like for example with me when I go to ComicCon and because there are so much things going on I have do use headphones and Music on my Phone.

Lost and Tired

AutismAdventure @Nikki Costello @Kristine Lackner-All @Kristen Kaun @Rebecca Bishop Curriden @Lynda Stacy-Visyak @Angela McDonough @Lin Benfield @Yajamalu Charity 
I’m really impressed with all of your honest feedback. I think we can learn a great deal from each others experience and I want to thank you for sharing your insight.  🙂

Raynette Jones

yes it is. as i have said before i will be the guardian of my nephew if his mom passes. he is on disability now. he wont ever be able to live on his on or get a job that would support him. he turns 21 this year. good thing he gets a ss disability check because if he didnt have family he would be on the street because there is no way he could navigate to get any services much less go to the dr. i would keep advocating that it is a disability as the government money will run out and we need to keep these kids/adults being callled disabled so they can have what meager support there is.

AutismAdventure

Absolutely Yes!  Of course, I think I have a wider definition of disability than the ADA.  Are my son’s sensory problems as disability – yes.  Are they as severe as some  – no.  But, they have caused him to be unable to fully participate in school programs, they have made so he chews on everything when he is overstimulated, they have made it so that he has been unable to participate on sports teams.  It has made him unable to do some things.  He often experiences pain from sensory problems. That to me is a disability.  His social issues are even more so.  Even if he grows up and is able to live on his own without assistance for some reason, if his ability to have a conversation or his language does not improve, he will have a serious problem forming relationships.  The inability to form relationships is not part of the official definition of having a disability but, to me, meaningful relationships are important.  If he cannot form them, I would call that a disability.
I hope that doesn’t seem harsh…I don’t mean that those things diminish his value as a person.  He has some awesome characteristics that I really love.  He is bright, loving and is trying to learn to be funny.  I love him unconditionally!  I understand the different ability thing to a certain extent.  But, I think many things are a disability.  I have fibromyalgia, I can’t get disability but, it limits my ability to function to some extent.  I would consider it a disability.  I don’t view the word disability as something that diminishes a persons value but, simply a statement of fact that there is something that causes someone to have difficulty with some aspect of life that those without that disability do not.  Just like someone who has a spinal cord injury is no longer able to walk while I can.

Yajamalu Charity

it depends the intensity and trauma it leave… at least it helps people understand and respect them, plus help them in their needs and being patient to them.

Lin Benfield

Yes but I’m too tired to give you all the reasons!

Nikki Costello

I wouldn’t call it a different ability when the person is at the severe end of the spectrum, then it’s a disability, I work with children who cannot speak, cannot communicate what they want, cannot control their bodily functions and cannot control their behaviour, they can’t be left alone for 5 minutes; this is when it’s a disability. However, I’ve also worked with children where their autism has only affected their socialisation and their sensory perception and they would be perfectly capable of living alone (with minimal support) and holding down a job, I don’t think it is a disability then, perhaps an impairment though. I always think if it affects their ability to do things that most people can do, then it’s a disability

Kristen Kaun

yes and no. According to ADA she fits all. No because she is so in touch with her senses that I wish I could get in better touch with. Overall though yes it is a disability.

Lost and Tired

Interesting feedback…. 🙂

Angela McDonough

if it affects your ability to hold and keep a job its a disability

Angela McDonough

yes because it interfears with my sons ability to control himself and sadly even with his high IQ if he cant control himself he cant support himself

Lynda Stacy-Visyak

Depends on the level of severity! For my son I would say, yes. Autism affects his ability to function. Of corse it’s a disability then.

Rebecca Bishop Curriden

I think it depends on the person and not the diagnosis. Under ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; OR (2) has a record of such an impairment; OR (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.
My daughter fits all three of the criteria. Yet, there are some high functioning kids/adults that it would limit them socially, but not so much physically. Would they still be considered disabled under the ADA? Yes, if that social interaction were to cause a mental impairment.
Personally, I don’t believe it’s so much the “disease” as it is the person that receives the disability label. (Sorry for calling it a disease, but that’s the best term I can think of now.)

Kristine Lackner-All

More like a different ability vs a disability.

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